In Tennessee, hemp agritourism is big business

Melissa Corbin of Corbin in the Dell covered hemp and agritourism in Tennessee for The Matador Network. She visited with Tyler Sneed of the Tennessee Agritourism Association, Bill Corbin of Corbin Sciences, Jennifer Nicely of Horse and Hawk and Jennifer Davis here at Rabbit Circle Rural American Farm Tours.

You can read Melissa’s Article Here….. https://matadornetwork.com

We are offering hemp farm tours this summer for Private Groups only. You may book at tour online or call 971-400-6420. Tours will consist of your party and the Guide.

Alfred Farris of Windy Acres passes

Every now and again we meet folks that change our lives. Carny Farris and her husband Alfred changed the lives of many folks and have defiantly had an impact on our community. 

The first time my family encountered the Farris’s was 30 years ago. My Grandmother, Bea Covington, was a part time real estate agent at Cross Plains Reality. She and Norma Dean Spencer were the only 2 agents in the office. Between the of them there wasn’t much that happened in Roberson County that they didn’t know about. 

They had a soil map in hand and were egger to buy land to start an organic farm in Northern Middle Tennessee.  My Grandmother introduced them the area and the community. 

Mr and Mrs. Farris eventually bought a neighboring farm from Billy Batson that had been previously owned by the Dixon Family. One of the Dixon daughters was my baby sitter.  In our small farming community, we are all connected in one way or another. Our roots run deep so when someone like the Farris’ move into a community you can bet that everyone notices.

I grew up just across the field from the Farris’s farm, Windy Acres.  They were the first organic farmers that I knew. All my life, I have heard comments from other locals about their farming practices.  A lot of folks don’t appreciate the attributes of organic farming. Nonetheless the they stood strong in their beliefs and introduced us all to a new way of farming. 

Windy Acres was the first certified organic grain farm in Tennessee.

Windy Acres is situated along 2 main roads and is surround by road frontage on all sides. You can bet that everyone in this small community has been watching their every move for a long time. The Farris’s have given us all an education in organic farming.   

For the Farris family farming, has been more than a business. It’s been a labor of love. They believe wholeheartedly in the biblically teachings that farmers are the stewards of the land.  They have experimented with different organic production methods over the years in an attempted to create a farm with a legacy that is true to their beliefs and principals. 

I moved away from Cross Plains after I fished undergraduate school.  I moved to Anchorage, Alaska. My grandparents always kept me updated on the local news at least the parts of it that they thought were worth repeating. 

My grandfather had a stroke and I returned home to be with him and my grandmother. He recovered rather quickly and after a few days in the house we all needed a little space. I have always been on the inquisitive side. I frequently jump the fence just to see if there really is grass on the other side. 

I took a walk down Greenwood Road, turned right on Rippy Road and eventfully found myself standing on the back porch of the Farris’s farm house.   I wanted to see for myself what those hippy organic farmers were up too.  The first time that I knocked on the door, Mrs. Carny answered. When I introduced myself as Harold and Bea Covington’s granddaughter, I could see that there was some hesitation in Mrs. Farris’ s willingness to welcome me into her home.  Little did I know that Mr. Farris and my Grandfather had previously had some sort of disagreement about a county road.  My Grandfather and Mr. Farris have always been known for sticking to their guns so I can only image that Mrs. Farris was at least a little uneasy with me knocking on the door without an invitation. I am sure that she though my Granddaddy had sent me over on some sort of spy mission. 

15 years after our first conversation, I can say that without a doubt that they are my friends, my family and I love them dearly. I have learned a lot from them over the years. They have continuously welcomed me into their home and onto their farm.   

Mr. Farris recently passed away. Mrs. Carny is still on the farm and there is some question as to what will happen to Windy Acres. Windy Acres was Mr. Farris’s passion and it is his wish for the farm to be preserved in a farmland trust.   

Time will only tell how things will work out in the future.  Things always change as generations pass on.  Succession planning is difficulty even in the best of situations.  Our rural farming community is quickly becoming a suburb of Nashville. Houses and subdivisions are taking the place of generational family farms. 

Those of us who knew and loved Mr. Farris know that his impact on our community will continue long past his earthy existence.

My heart is with his wife and family at this time of transition. As a new crop of farmers continue to sow the seeds of hope and a love for farming in the future.  

With love and admiration we will remember Alferd Farris.  

To learn more about Organic Farming and land trust from the following organizations –

Agrarian Trust

The Land Trust for Tennessee

What do Farmers do in the winter?

One of the things I often run into is a misperception that farm life winds down once the fall harvest is over. And while much of the world has the luxury of spending these chilly months snuggling up under a blanket with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and Netflix, for farmers, it’s business as usual. (But with more layers of clothing.) 


So, what do farmers do in the winter? They make a lot of coffee. They fuel and warm up with a steady supply of caffeine (Some folks stir in sugar. Others pour in Louisa’s Liqueur. (Either way, I don’t judge!)  

The winter work is never done. Farmers are always fixing stuff. My granddaddy always said, “If things aren’t breaking then you aren’t using them enough.” There is always machinery to be maintained, fences to be mended and more coffee to be consumed.

When they’re not caring for the machines, they’re caring for the creatures who depend on them. Most farmers have  to put out feed and water for the livestock each day. 


A typical daily agenda might go something like:
1. Make coffee

2. Put on warm clothes

3) Warm up the tractor or the truck to go feed the cows or check on the fences.

4) Snuggle into the tractor with your Honey and go for a ride. (Fun fact: a lot of farm kids are born in August, September and October. Draw your own conclusions here…) 


If you want to learn more about rural Tennessee culture and the life of our local farmers, our tours are happening all year long.

Krystal and Eric

Krystal and Eric

Krystal and Eric visited us from New Jersey. It was a particularly cold and nasty January day. We stopped to see Red strip tobacco, had lunch at Tesha’s and went to they stock yard to watch the Monday afternoon cattle sales.

Check out their blog post about their adventures in Tennessee

Minimal Effort

Share your Story

One of the best parts about sharing local stories is getting letters and comments from the locals. Over the last several months, we have gotten several emails and hand written letters from people that remember the old times. We would love to hear your stories too.

 Dear Sir/Madame, 

I’m replying out of curiousity and the name Rabbit Circle. It reminds me of the back 60 acres of Banie Robertson’s farm, that was called Rabbit Ranch.    I believe they are descendants of the original Robertsons of the County, just around the road from where you turn off at the Tractor on the Pole. I’m not sure, but I know that they ran(farmed), the old Washington Farm in Cedar Hill area. My Mother did a lot of genealogy research in the 70’s. She’s got a ton of paperwork going to waste on that, but I know she took a lot to the Archives in Nashville years ago.    This may not mean a thing to you, but I hope that all that paperwork did get recorded. I don’t know what to do with these Filing Cabinets full of local Cemetery recordings.    Enough of my rambling. Just thought I’d say Thank You, for bringing old things to Life again.

J. Brent Barbee

Dear Jennifer,

I read your article in today’s Nashville Tennesseean. I used to live on Guthrie Rd. I lived there from 1960-1967. It was called Young Road. Me and my parents lived in the over 100 year old house that belong to the Young family. My father bought the farm from C.L. Porter who lived near Nashville, TN. He bought it from the east of Claud Benton who killed himself in a barn across the road. I went to school at Cross Plains Tn from 1960 to 1967. Is that the farm where you live? You said something in the paper about your Grandpa Covington. I went to school with a Dale Covington I enjoyed reading your article. It brough back Memories of when I lived there. I would like to hear from you if you care to write.

Sincerely Yours,

Dwight L. Alford

Trator on a Pole

Located on Highway 431 between Springfield, Tn and Adairville, KY there is on old red belly Ford tractor on a pole. Gene Barbee put the tractor on the pole up sometime in the 1960s. He sold used farm equipment at his farm. The tractor on the pole was marketing magic. It’s genius out lasted his farm equipment business. Folks still use the tractor on a pole as a reference point.

So you want them to move here?

old barn

Just thirty minutes beyond the bright lights and bustle of Broadway, there’s a whole other side of Nashville that many people never see. It’s a place steeped in local lore and rooted in history, where backroads lead the way  through stories filled fields and a cast of colorful characters. This is a side of Nashville that takes you out of the city and transports you back in time to experience the legacy of rural America, and its connection to everything from the food on our plates to the dye in our jeans. 

Rabbit Circle Tours specializes in custom rural farm tours. The adventure begins with one of our locally born and grown guides picking your VIP up in town. From there, we head off on a tour of the countryside surrounding Nashville with stops in rural communities such as Cross Plains, Springfield, Joelton, Ashland City, Gallatin and Franklin.

Along the way, we will introduce them to locals and grab lunch at one of our favorite locally-owned restaurants. From snacking on sun-ripened tomatoes straight off the vine to a meet-and-greet with favorite farm animals, each tour is unique and customized to the interest of our guests. 

Broadway may boast the highest volume of Nashville tourists, but a Rabbit Circle custom farm tour is the experience that nobody ever forgets. Learn more and book your tour at https://rabbitcircle.com/

There is a lot to see beyond the city limit signs.

Mike, Moo 2 U Dairy

Planning a trip to the southern USA? There a few things that you should know for sure: 

There is a lot to see beyond the city limit signs. The history and culture of the south was created from the dirt and tears of rural farmers. You can’t visit a dirt road, meet a farmer or really know America until you visit the rural countryside. 

Macaroni and cheese is a vegetable. If you are lucky enough to find a locally-owned “meat and 3” restaurant, there will be a long list of side dishes to choose from (and a lot of dirty farm trucks in the parking lot). A meat and 3 restaurant is generally served cafeteria style. You choose your meal from a list of meats and vegetables. one meat, three vegetables, a roll or cornbread and tea. Don’t be confused when you see mac & cheese listed along with all the other sides. In the south, mac and cheese is a vegetable, salads are not.  

The tea will be sweetened black tea with a twist of lemon. Country folks take pride in their sweet tea. It is often so sweet that you can stand a spoon up in the glass. If you order unsweetened tea, it’s a sure giveaway that you aren’t local or you’re on a diet. 

 If you want to meet a real southern farmer, you should be introduced to them by a local at the meat and 3. Farmers are generally shy with foreigners. Foreigners are recognized by the locals as anyone that drinks unsweetened tea, thinks mac and cheese is just a side dish and lives north of Bowling Green, Kentucky. 

Whiskey and moonshine are grown on a farm.  If you visit a distillery, you are only seeing part of the picture. To better understand the cultural significance, you have to visit a cornfield in August.  If you are foreigner traveling in the south, it’s best to visit a farm with a local and bring your own glass. You will likely be invited to sit and sip on a glass of our favorite local beverage. Tea and whisky are the same color, but you’ll have to join us for an afternoon to find out what’s really in our glass. 

Book a farm tour with a local here…  www.RabbitCirlce.com

Christmas from the Farm

The old is new again when it comes to finding the perfect local Christmas gift. If you have ever been one a farm tour with Rabbit Circle you know how proud we are of our farmers. If you have been good, you are likely to find a bottle of wine, a pair of jeans, a hemp flower and cigar under your tree. If you have been naughty, I know where to find a bundle of switches, my Daddy has been pruning his apple trees and there is a fresh stack. 

Cherry Wine form Sumner Crest Winery

Cherry Wine , Sumner Crest Winery

If you have never heard of Orlinda Tennessee, you are missing out. Orlinda is officially the sunniest spot in Tennessee or at least that’s what it says on the city limits sign. Sumner Crest Winey has a wonderfully tart Cherry Wine that will remind you of the bright summer sun.  

Cigars from Avanti 

Avanti Cigars

Robertson Country Tennessee is the dark fired tobacco capital of the world.  The tobacco grown in the black patch region of southern Kentucky and middle Tennessee has long been sought after for its wonderfully smoky aroma. If you have ever been to the region in the fall you are sure to have caught a wif of the smoking barns.   Form me it the smell of home and tradition. 

Jeans dyed with Tennessee Indigo  

Stay Creek Colors

Sarah Bellos from Stony Creek Colors has inspired local farmers to growing something different and wonderful. Indigo is a plant based natural dye that had been in use for centuries. Support our local farms buy purchasing denim dyed with Tennessee grown Indigo 

Hemp Flowers

28 % CBD

Everyone is talking about where to find best the locally grown hemp in Tennessee.  White’s Family Farm grew hemp that contains 28% CBD.  If you are interested in a few flowers or 10,000 lbs give them a call. Its legal for Santa to deliver it across American in a flat rate postage box from USPS. 

Switches from Shade Tree Farm and Orchard

Switches

A family tradition for the naughty kids on your list. A fresh bundle of apple branches from Shade Tree Farm and Orchard.

New local tour gives crash course in hemp WKRN Story

With the growth of hemp production in Tennessee comes budding interest and now there’s a new tour to learn all about the industry.

From the ins to the outs, to what it’s really like to grow hemp, Rabbit Circle Farm Tours is now hopping onto Middle Tennessee’s newest cash crop.

Sixth-generation farmer Jennifer Davis runs the tours.

“I’ve been doing the farm tours here for about a year and in the last three or four months especially I’ve had a lot of folks start asking questions about hemp,” said Davis. 

That’s when Rabbit Circle’s Hemp Tours was born.

Davis combined her extensive background in agriculture with her connections to area hemp farmers.

“It’s more to not necessarily be an educator but the facilitator,” said Davis. “What are those opportunities for farmers? I think there’s maybe a little misconception that you’ll be able to come out here and play at a cannabis plant and suddenly you’ll be a millionaire.”

The tours start in Nashville where Davis drives to at least three Middle Tennessee Hemp Farms. 

“We go through a regular till application, the no-till application, and then a strip field,” said Davis. 

Next comes history.

“Up until for sure the early 1950s, it was a viable economic crop,” she said.

Then the business side.

“This was what was in this field last year, this is the potential for what might be in this field next year,” said Davis.

Finally, the reality for farmers.

Jerry Jones is a 7th generation tobacco farmer making the switch to grow hemp.

“You have to learn a lot learn on the fly,” said Jones. “Tobacco has been the mainstay for Robertson County for 100 years I guess but it’s kind of passing. You don’t make as much per acre anymore and it’s just harder to get by on it.”

“I would like this to be an intermediary for people to be educated and entertained at the same time,” said Davis.

The tour costs $75 per person — $5 will be donated to the Tennessee Growers Coalition and $5 will be donated to the Tennessee Hemp Industries Association.

Link to Original Content- https://www.wkrn.com/news/local-news/new-tour-gives-crash-course-in-hemp/